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when to use LDCs as OHs

Discussion in 'Recording' started by rockstardave, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    thoughts? when is it appropriate to use a pair of LDCs for drum OHs? ostensibly when you have a really great sounding room. but is that the only case?

    anyone care to start some discussion on this? i'm interesting in reading some of your thoughts. i'll put my 2cents in after a few posts.. 8)
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I don't know what an LDC is, Liquid Display Crystal?
    How about you put your 2c in, and if it's interesting I'll look up what you're talking about.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Okay. I'll put my ignorant butt on the chopping block. I would think an LDC would be best for finesse players. IE: Jazz, country, brush work where the natural sound of the kit is essential. I don't think there really is an occasion where a Large Diaphragm Condenser would necessarily be inappropriate.

    What I wonder is "when is a pair of dynamics more useful as overheads than condensers". I would assume, for a loud drummer? I'm shooting in the dark here.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I'll turn the question around and say that I'd tend to use small diaphragm condensers in a room with a low ceiling since I'd be depending on the off axis response of the mic. If I have a high ceiling and a good room, I have more selection. Also, if I want the overheads to really get a picture of the whole kit, SDCs (usually) have the greater range. If I just need the cymbals - they sit in a sweet spot of many LDCs. (Of course, all of this assumes characteristics of LDCs and SDCs that are far too general. In real life you choose the best mics in your locker (or the ones that you know how to use the best) and live with the results.)
  5. droc8705

    droc8705 Active Member

    some what along the same lines, i'd throw in the question of when ribbons are appropriate for overheads? i purchased a matched pair of cascade fatheads and they just arrived yesterday and the first thing i did was throw them up for overheads...not what i expected, but oh well.

    in response to the question (and this is by no means supported by expertise, just my personal and amateur experience), i'd say that i tend to like LDCs when the kit sounds amazing in the room, in particular the cymbals. i find that when using my rode nt2-as as overheads, cymbals can be a little too shrilly. if i switched to my nt5s, it tends to go away for the most part, at least to an acceptable level. the drums themselves tend to sound better with the nt5s, so i usually stick with that, unless i'm bored and wanna try something new just to try i.e. yesterday's test w. the fatheads.

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Generally my rule of thumb is:

    If you have a splashy drummer that relies a lot upon cymbals & the cymbals sound great to your ear in person? Use large diaphragm condensers such as 414's, U87's & the like.

    If the cymbals sound like the drummer is beating upon metal trash can lids? Utilize small diaphragm condenser microphones, to accentuate the highest frequencies making those brassy mid-high-frequency less obtrusive.

    In that respect, I don't give a crap about the acoustics. If I have the luxury of nice acoustics & good cymbals, I'll use large diaphragm condensers and run them at a higher altitude over the kid rather than lower. If space is limited, then generally within 3 feet of the highest cymbal's height.

    If on the other hand if I'm recording in somebody's basement with 7 foot ceilings and the band is all crammed in next to the drums, I'll use small diaphragm condensers much lower for a tighter more localized sound. I can always ambient it up with digital reverb/room settings. You might even want to add some high frequency boost to the reverb send to promote greater excitation in the high frequency decay. Just keep the reverb ultrashort.

    I've also been known to use a couple of Sennheiser MD421's as overheads without any tom microphones, about 2 feet above the highest cymbal.

    I'll also frequently had some high pass filtering to the overheads since it can crowd the bass drum.

    My drums are always UPFRONT AND IN YOUR FACE AND WILL KNOCK YOU ON YOUR ASS. Or as some people have described making them feel like they are getting CPR. Remember "an ounce of punch is worth a pound of soundenclosed (Media Sound circa 1978).

    Bitchin' drum recording bitch
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Is it just us 'elderly' folks that like the drums to crush when being played back???

    I used to measure the cone excursion on the big JBL's to determine if the drums were truly kicking ass in a proper way.

    I am with Remy on this one.

    Appropriate is dictated by the sound needed, the recording space and the gear available.
  8. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    duh of course, that's the canned answer i've been waiting for. with all due respect, that's just rephrasing my question. how about this then:

    i have a set of SDCs that are OK and minimally acceptable for my use. in the near future i'll be getting a LDC for vocals. is it worth looking into getting a pair in order to use as drum OH mics? or should i save my money?

    i have everything up to the LDC .. an entire live sound mic closet. the only recording gear i'm missing would be high-end DI boxes, LDC (for vocals or drum OH which is, of course, what this thread is all about), and ribbon mics).

    i'm pretty sure I do not need a ribbon yet, and my onyx board can take Hi-Z inputs. a LDC is definitely next on the list. but should i get 2??

    thanks in advance.
  9. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    This industry is full of canned answers... as well as canned responses that usually begin with "duh" (the newbie) and end with "you're fired" (the A1).

    Like this one, which I happen to be making up off the top of my head:

    Looking for a "standard" multipurpose LDC mic?

    One of the most popular and often heard drum OH mics is the AKG-C414, which also happens to be an LDC.

    Buy them in a stereo pair, use one on vox - guitars - etc - as needed.

    If you've got the money to spend, spend it.
    Keep an eye on Craig's List and Ebay
    (you don't want new ones, do ya?)...

    They're 414's, yer done.

  10. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    God, I'm in a mood, Rockstar, sorry... I just gotta throw this one in:

    The last time I worked with Sister Hazel every mic on stage was an AT4050 (all LDC's - on everything)...

    Do not for once think you've got it all nailed down and figured out, it just doesn't work that way.

    An answer such as those given above are perfectly acceptable, canned or not...

    I use LDC's (414's mostly) about 99% of the time on OH's.

    If I want to get precise, say for the "ping" of the ride, I'll stick an 84 or 81 in there for the attack.

    I pretty much use the same mics in the same spot on drums all of the time.

    Is that canned?

    (no, actually it's probably the main reason most of my mixes sound the same, for better or worse...)

    I love ribbon drivers, BTW.

    Apogee... Stage Accompany...

    You've never really heard a snare drum until you've heard it through a Stage Accompany C27.

  11. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Does it make it better than sitting in front of the drum whilst being hit?
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of the AT 4040's and 4050's for Overheads, on jazz, pop, country drum kits....just about anything. I can't afford (and wouldn't take out on a gig) a U87, so these are my alternate choices.

    They're really not that expensive compared to anything else out there, and they hold up just as well. The AT's are of course a bit bright, which works well with 90% of the cymbals and percussion stuff you may encounter. (And I agree with Remy about the trashy/splashy cymbols that need other mics....)

    The LDC (at least the ATs, anyway) always have a nice smooth "Bloom" to them when hit hard, and I too tend to roll off a good amount of low end to keep the kick and low toms out of the way for the rest of my mics to do their job.

    For detailed percussion (Orchestral, world-music stuff) and other things that need more accuracy and less smear, (what I informally call overtone alignment), I go with the the SDC's.

    I too have a pair of the Cascade ribbons, but I wouldn't use 'em on drum OHs at all. Also beware: As much as I'm a Mackie fan, even the Onyx series will leave you a little "wanting" with the pre's. You'll need to crank it almost all the way up (or put it on a fairly loud source - which isn't all that good for a ribbon mic anyway....) Just don't go judging your ribbons by the Mackie's pres (or any other non-ribbon dedicated pre amp) alone. IMHO, the ONLY reliable ribbon pre out there for stand alone use is the AEA TRP. It's so good it just disappears into the chain of sound, with no muss, no fuss, and the pots are very re-setable, unlike the Mackies, Yamahas, and Behringers. (Even an SM57 or 58 sounds better through one of these, due to its selectable impedance.)

    Don't judge your ribbons too harshly until you hear them through a proper preamp with enough clean gain. :cool:
  13. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Yeah, there's no gain knob on live acoustic sounds!

  14. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Sure there is. I can hit it hard or soft. Does that make me a knob?
  15. droc8705

    droc8705 Active Member

    thanks joe. my main reason for trying them as overheads was that i'd literally JUST opened the ups package and couldn't wait. i set them up so fast that i ended up having too many phase issue with other mics, plus it was a cheap kit, plus the room sucked...i'm sure with more time and a better treated room they'd come out pretty nice, but the little kid in me just wouldn't allow for it.
  16. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    with all due respect ben, nevermind... i don't want to drag this one out... :p

    i'm very very sure that i have a complete-enough mic locker for my scope of work, except for an LDC like i said.

    i dont think i can afford 2 of the 414s yet. i'm narrowed down to a set of AT40xx's if i get a pair, or maybe a babybottle, or a bluebird, or nt2, or at4040 or at4033, or ksm27, or if i just get 1 mic.

    i guess that's where i've been trying to go with this thread.
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I saw no need to completely reiterate what Remy had so perfectly explained so I simply summed it up and agreed with her.

    If you think thats a 'stock answer' and I owe you anything more than that, you are mistaken.

    BTW. If you have such a complete locker and are as knowledgeable as you claim, why ask in the first place?

    Here's my not so stock answer.

    Its only appropriate to use LDC's for overheads when it calls for it.

    I guess the trick is knowing when that is.

    I know when it is.

    Remy knows when it is.

    Ben knows when it is.

    So does most of the folks who have spent their time typing out an answer to a question that only YOU can answer and only when the situation calls for it as an answer.

    Stock enough for ya buckwheat?

    And BTW where's my ALL DUE RESPECT?
  18. JeffT

    JeffT Guest

    :) yes it is... And i no longer Engineer.... but still feel that way when watching a client play drums and all of the inline comps are peaking...
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    If you can afford to, always purchase your microphones in pairs. So, yeah! Repeat after me, " I want a pair of LDC. I want a pair of LDC. I want a pair of LDC". Remember to click your magic headphones together when saying that.

    Ms. Poof!.......
  20. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    now thats the first good info i've found in this thread!

    i guess all that all my talk and pseudo-arrogance is justified, now that i got an answer.

    A. "it depends on ________" is the most common answer on this forum. i bet that if i did a search for "it depends", i'd get more results than any other search would.! haha jk of course.

    B. i never said you owe me anything. it's a free forum. participate if you want, lurk if you want.

    because asking questions is how you find answers to things that you don't know.

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